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Morning Roundup - June 18th

Thursday, June 18th Morning Roundup - Featured News and Public Events

News Highlights
From the Chicago Tribune on a drug ring disrupted:
Federal authorities say they've disrupted a Canada-to-United States Ecstasy ring with the arrest of 20 people, most in western New York.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say the suspects are charged in a 24-count indictment with conspiracy to smuggle the drug into the U.S. from Canada and distribute it.

Of those arrested, 17 live in the Buffalo area, two are from New York City and one is from Chicago.

If convicted, they face up to 40 years in prison and fines of $2 million.

From Govtech. More on grants:

The new allocations include steps the DHS has taken to improve the ability of state, local and tribal governments to apply for and use FEMA grants, according to the release, including: considering stakeholder feedback; ensuring that state, local and tribal governments understand how funds can be used to sustain long-term project; and developing a more transparent, efficient application process.

The tribal grants target an area heretofore, overlooked, according to some. "We are particularly happy with the funds designated to tribal emergency managers who are a critical yet often overlooked partner in the nation's layered emergency management system," said Russell Decker, the International Association of Emergency Managers president. "We are also encouraged by the secretary's pledge to make the grant process less cumbersome for local, tribal and state recipients. It's clear the administration is listening to the key stakeholders."

From the Wall Street Journal, on a new GAO report linking U.S. guns to cartel violence in Mexico:

A new study by the Government Accountability Office says most firearms recovered in drug violence in Mexico come from the U.S., a finding that will likely fuel the politically charged debate over the U.S. government's efforts to stem gun trafficking across the border.

Drug-related murders have more than doubled in number to 6,200 last year from 2,700 in 2007, according to the GAO study, a draft of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The study is set to be released Thursday.

Mexican officials have pushed for the U.S. to enact tougher gun laws and to help restrict arms smuggling as Mexico attempts to battle drug cartels on its territory. "The availability of firearms illegally flowing from the United States into Mexico has armed and emboldened a dangerous criminal element in Mexico, and it has made the job of drug cartels easier," said Rep. Eliot L. Engel, (D., N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, which is holding a hearing on arms trafficking Thursday. "It is simply unacceptable that the United States not only consumes the majority of the drugs flowing from Mexico, but also arms the very cartels that contribute to the daily violence that is devastating Mexico."


Secretary's Events
6:30 PM EDT
Secretary Napolitano will deliver remarks at the Fifth Annual Tribute to the U.S. Coast Guard dinner
National Building Museum
401 F Street NW
Washington, D.C.

Public Events
8:00 AM EDT
Office of Risk Management and Analysis Director Tina Gabbrielli will deliver remarks at the Security Analysis and Risk Management (SARMA) Annual Conference
George Mason University
3401 Fairfax Drive, Room 329
Arlington, Va.

10 AM EDT
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) representatives will participate in the Montgomery County Workplace Safety Committee Annual Safety Fair
Montgomery County Courthouse
2 East Airy Street
Norristown, Pa.

10 AM EDT
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Assistant Commissioner for International Trade Dan Baldwin will testify before the House Committee on Small Business about textiles enforcement
2360 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

10 AM EDT
National Protection and Programs (NPPD) Deputy Under Secretary Philip Reitinger will deliver remarks at the Federal Computer Week Solutions Seminar
The Willard InterContinental Washington
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.

12:00 PM EDT
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary John Morton and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart will participate in a news conference to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the cross-designation of ICE agents with Title 21 authority
The National Press Club, Studio Room, 4th Floor
529 14th St. NW
Washington, D.C.

3:30 PM MDT
TSA Public Affairs will participate in a news conference about American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding going to Jackson Hole Airport for construction on a new in-line baggage screening system.
Jackson Hole Airport
1250 East Airport Rd.
Jackson, WY 83001

2 PM EDT
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Office of Civil Rights Director Terri Dickerson and Chief of Staff Admiral Clifford Pearson will testify before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, about civil rights and diversity in USCG
2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

2 PM EDT
Acting Chief Financial Officer Peggy Sherry will testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization and Procurement, about oversight of the federal government’s consolidated financial statement
2154 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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